We met five years ago, through Match.com of all places. Our connection was immediate and powerful.
We were both fully baked adults with a lot of life experience when we met. We knew what we wanted out of a relationship and out of life, and we clicked immediately.
We got married in August of 2015, on a boat under the Statue of Liberty at sundown. Michael's sister in law performed the ceremony, and our nieces and nephews read from the Supreme Court ruling that had just legalized gay marriage. It was poignant, and it was spectacular (pictures available on request!).
As gay men, having kids didn't always seem possible. Coming out of the closet meant giving up on kids, on marriage, and on the house with a white picket fence. And that's what we both did. We have both wanted to be parents our whole life, but we both chose not to live in the closet, or to live a charade.
Both of us grew up in traditional, stable homes, with parents in committed relationships, in houses with backyards in nice neighborhoods. We couldn't picture having kids any other way, and that way of life was not an option.
The barriers to marriage and adoption in society have all but disappeared, especially in our neck of the woods. A growing number of our gay friends are married, and many of our friends, both gay and straight, have adopted. We have been blessed to be part of their lives and their expanding families.
We are now legally married, and we own a great home. We can raise a child openly here and now, in a place where she or he will be loved and accepted by our families and in our community.
We are now ready and excited to become parents.
We live in Jersey City, NJ, across the river and a 10 minute train ride from Manhattan, where we both work. You can see the top of the Freedom Tower from our yard, and the Statue of Liberty is so close it looks like you could walk there.
Jersey City is often called 'the new Brooklyn' or 'New York's sixth boro'. Michael lived in Brooklyn before we met, and he says that both references are pretty accurate. As a Jersey boy, you won't catch Evan referring to Jersey City as part of New York!
Either way, we love our neighborhood.
We own a 4 bedroom house, which is huge around here, and we have all the advantages of New York City without being crammed into a tiny apartment. We have a great community here with a small town vibe. We know our neighbors, and they come from all over the world. Everyone checks in on each other in the bad weather, to help with packages, or sometimes just to be nosy. It's a walkable community with a lot of great restaurants and shops, two parks nearby, a farmers market 3 days a week and a lot of street festivals during the summer.
And most important of all: awesome bagels, and delicious pizza!
"Michael is a typical Midwestern boy. He's friendly, down to earth, generous and considerate. He's a planner, he is an avid reader, and he has a calming influence on everyone around him. He's the guy you think is really serious, until you get to know him and find out how playful and funny he is."
I grew up in Madison, Wisconsin, came to New York City for college and never left. I've developed a very close community of friends here, who have become my extended family. And since Evan and I have been together, his family has become part of my circle.
I love traveling and exploring new cities and countries. One of my passions is archaeology, and I've dug in the dirt in 110 degree temperatures in Greece (that photo above is me on a dig!). Through my travels I've learned to speak Greek and Spanish.
Since I was a child I have always had a strong belief in social justice, which has led to my other passion, civic involvement. I'm always involved in my local community, from campaigning for local candidates, to participating in local neighborhood associations, to volunteering with local service programs. I am fortunate to work in this area as well, where my career has taken me from developing affordable housing to now managing a private foundation.
Family and friends are very important to me, so I love having friends over for dinner, spending Thanksgiving with Evan's family and spending Christmas with my family. I'm thrilled with the idea of bringing a child into our welcoming circle of community, family and friends.
"Evan is ... from Jersey. He's extroverted and he speaks his mind, often using his hands. He's outgoing, he has a big personality, and he gets along with everybody. He's the guy that comes across as a big goofball, until you get to know him and find out just how together he really is."
I'm a huge college basketball and football fan and I'm trying to be a better cook. I play basketball when I can and I am very active. I love to bike and I love to travel. I love a good laugh. And I love kids.
I am close to my family and to my friends, many of whom are like family to me. I grew up in New Jersey and I have lived in New York City and NJ my entire life.
I am from a working class family that sold costume jewelry and pillows at local flea markets. Mom and dad did not have college degrees, but they worked tirelessly to provide for me and my 2 brothers. Hard work paid off for my parents, and then for us. All 3 of us graduated college and I went on to get a Masters degree, taking evening classes while working full time. I built a career in the securities industry, and today I run a regulatory consulting practice.
And I've always wanted to be a dad.